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World War II Veteran, Local Historian Dale Dyer Celebrates 100th Birthday

Soon-to-be centenarian Dale Dyer celebrated his 100th birthday Nov. 30 with family, friends and community members at the First Baptist Church Youth Center.

Dozens of well-wishers flowed in throughout the three hour celebration greeting Dyer and his friend James Watkins who share a birth date of Dec. 8.

Dozens of accolades were on display where Dyer has received a key to the city of Blue Ridge declaring it Dale Dyer Day on Dec. 8, 2011 along with a
Fannin County Resolution from the board of commissioners commending the long-time local historian and United States Army Air Corps World War II Veteran.

Time has a way of creating wisdom and for Dyer, the Kansas-born native, answered the call to the war effort and served as a bomber pilot. After completing 26 successful bombing missions and many refueling missions, Dyer left the service with the rank of captain.

In 1947 Dyer moved to Blue Ridge, taking over his father-in-law’s business “Hampton Motor and Tractor Company.”

He continued to work as partner, manager and owner of other businesses including Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, Tri-State Realty Inc. and Dyer Realty Company which he founded in 1969. The Fanny County Resolution on display at the event said Dyer’s commitment to providing goods and services to a broad clientele greatly enhanced the local economy.

For more than 40 years Dyer worked as a leader in the Boys Scouts of America locally and in the district divisions, serving as a Trustee with the Northeast Georgia Council and positively impacting young boys for service to the community.

Dyer is a long-time member of the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club, serving in various capacities, including president and adviser for more than six decades. In 1999 he was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, along with receiving the Distinguished Service Award during his time as a member.

Other awards and honors include: the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, the Daughters of the American Revolution honored him for his preservation of Fannin County History as well as the Historic Preservation Medal and the Fannin County Heritage Foundation gave him a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication to local history.

For more than 60 years Dyer impacted the community, co-authoring a historical account of the area in a book called “Facets of Fannin” in 1989.

He also was indispensable in establishing the Baugh House, Fannin County’s Historical Museum. Over the years Dyer traveled around the county identifying cemeteries and old grist mills, eventually aiding in writing Fannin County Cemeteries in 2003 and a final book Facing Forward: A History of Schools in Fannin County in 2012.

Dyer and James Watkins share their 100th birthday with a twin brother of James, along with another friend John Wade from Mineral Bluff. The close friendship of Watkins to Dyer has lasted for 64 years. They became acquainted when Atlanta Motor Lines, a company run by Watkins, delivered merchandise decades ago to Dyer.

“We’ve been great friends and we’re happy to be able to make it to 100 years,” Dyer said.Son Eric Dyer spoke for the Dyer family when he said, “We want to thank all our family and friends who came into town from near and far on this busy holiday weekend to help Dad celebrate his 100th birthday.

We are so truly blessed to have all who came to tell Dad Happy Birthday! He is truly a remarkable man who has raised a family and served the community that he has loved and been a part of for so long and we cannot put into words how thankful we are to have had so many people come by and visit with him. Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking time out of your busy Thanksgiving get-together’s to come and help celebrate Dad’s 100th Birthday with us!”

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